David's Repentant Heart, Part 8
Why do you think the scriptures say, "The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David?" (Matthew 1:1) True the scriptures immediately backtrack to Abraham. With Abraham, the focus is saving faith and the nation of Israel. Moving forward in time, he mentions again in verse 6, David the King. David is the only person mentioned as a king, even though Matthew includes many kings.
Undoubtedly, Matthew is emphasizing the kingship of the Lord Jesus Christ. But why the emphasis on David? David was not without sin or even the least sinful in scripture. There are many indications that God performed a work of grace in David that exceeded all other kings; let us consider just one.
"Then the king trembled and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And this is what he said as he walked: “My son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18:33)
"And the people entered the city surreptitiously that day, just as people who are humiliated surreptitiously flee in battle. And the king covered his face and cried out with a loud voice, “My son Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Sam.19:3,4) Does it make you want to cry?
Joab killed Absalom! He did not speak to David directly but chided David for humiliating Israel and warned him of the harm he would do to himself by continuing. Absalom destroyed Joab's field. Joab felt no loyalty to the king's son.
Absalom cost his fellow Israelites' lives for selfish reasons and cannot be justified by what he did. He threatened the life of his father, the king. After murdering the man who raped his sister, he brought consolation to his father, David. David should have had his son put to death for raping his daughter. I could continue but let us understand that when anyone breaks one of God's commands, you shall not commit adultery, and multiple marriages don't make it better. Sin is like a giant ripple in a great body of water.
David carried the guilt for everything, he was guilty, and broken, for his infidelity and pride. His position as the king did not matter for one second upon hearing about his son's death. There was nothing fake about his tears. It was not his compassion for his son's blood, although that made it all the more grievous, like the ripple, it all came back to him as the cause. He knew it, and he owned it!
Some years ago, dear readers, I was praying in my car while going to work. While deeply moved in my mind about the suffering that Christ endured on the cross for me, a cat darted across the highway, so fast I didn't react. I heard and felt it crushed under the weight of the car. Even now, I have to cry. It was a cat, it wasn't the Son of God. Nevertheless, my sins cost Christ infinite suffering. My sins have caused the death of every animal that has ever lived, in reality.
"For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. For the creation was subjected to futility..." (Romans 8:22, 20). Futility is life without purpose—death for seemingly no reason. Sin is the reason!
The Believers Heart
Once David realized the harm he was doing to the Israelites, he relented and comforted his brothers. He appreciated their sacrifices and courage, and their love for him. When a real Christian sins, he bears the brunt of that sin as no unbeliever can. The longer and closer the walk one has with God, the deeper the wound sin makes.
John Newton put it this way,
"Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved"
Are you crying? Reverential fear brings us to the feet of Jesus in tears for having caused His suffering. It makes us all the more reverential when we consider the price He paid. The more we sin, the more broken we become. He continues,
"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me"
Forgiven, restored, and renewed with the assurance of salvation does not lessen the reality of a sinner's wretchedness before Almighty God. Why is it far better to be with Christ, as the Apostle Paul said? The writer to the Hebrews says it this way, by faith, we have come to the spirits of the righteous made perfect. With Jesus after the valley of the shadow of death is the absence of the sin that caused His suffering. As we long for Jesus, we long to stop sinning against Him. Newton continues,
"I once was lost, but now I am found
Was blind, but now I see"
We see Jesus! We see our sin! We despise and hate our sin! We cry out as Paul did in Romans 7:24, "Wretched man that I am!" Because we have been made new and desire something better, we can see ourselves as wretched while knowing we are a new creature in Christ and old things are passing away.